After conquering Lisbon, Manchester, Madrid and Turin, Cristiano Ronaldo is entering the final years of his career and he’s going to spend them back at Old Trafford.
Having mastered four leagues in four different countries, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has recorded over 800 goals and 200 assists in his career, winning more than 30 major trophies.
Regarded by many as the best to ever grace a soccer pitch, his list of achievements across numerous competitions are endless, and will only continue to grow.
Whether it’s making the Premier League his playground or inspiring legendary European comebacks, nothing seems beyond Cristiano Ronaldo.
First Premier League title
May 13, 2007
After a turbulent reception from the English in the summer – which involved him eliminating them from the World Cup and THAT wink after Red Devils teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off – Ronaldo returned to Manchester United with a point to prove.
It’s fair to say the point was proven.
Less than a year later, he had recorded 17 goals and 15 assists for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side at the age of 22 as he helped them capture their first Premier League title in four seasons.
Establishing himself as one of soccer’s best, he won the PFA Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, the Football Writers ‘Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year for his breathtaking performances throughout the campaign.
All was forgiven in England, well, if you were a Manchester United fan that is.
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THAT free kick against Portsmouth
January 30, 2008 Recognized as one of the greatest Premier League goals of the modern era, Cristiano’s free kick against Portsmouth continues to receive plaudits, over a decade after he scored it.
In a set-piece that seemed to defy physics, the fascinating forward hit an unstoppable 30-yard knuckleball over the wall and past David James in a split second, as an astonished Old Trafford erupted.
The goal is well-renowned as a memorable moment of Manchester United’s impressive title-winning campaign in the 2007/08 season.
Puskas goal punishes Porto
April 15, 2009 Back in his native Portugal, Ronaldo scored one of the best goals of his career as Manchester United overcame Porto in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Perfectly combining power and precision, he unleashed a venomous strike past the helpless Porto goalkeeper and into the top corner, from all of 40 yards out.
The glorious effort received worldwide acclaim and was even recognized with the 2009 FIFA Puskas Award.
The most expensive player in the world
June 11, 2009
Despite Fergie’s best efforts to keep him in the red side of Manchester, Ronaldo ultimately had his heart set on a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu and Real Madrid.
Having endured profound success with the Red Devils, he was lured to the Spanish capital by Real President, Florentino Perez, in a record-breaking deal at the time worth £ 88million (approximately $ 120million).
With his dream move becoming a reality, Ronaldo made his long-awaited arrival in Madrid as the most expensive player in the world, and the rest – as they say – is history.
It’s fair to say he more than justified the price tag in his decade-long stint with the club – winning 16 trophies and recording over 580 goal contributions – as he became an all-time great with Los Blancos.
May 24, 2014
Further strengthening his legacy as a club legend, Ronaldo was instrumental to a Madrid team that won a historic tenth Champions League, against inner-city rivals Atletico.
A spectacular European run saw him record 17 goals and 5 assists as he carried his team to another final.
Winning 4-1 on the night in extra time, Ronaldo scored in a late flurry of goals for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, converting a penalty in the dying seconds to round off a momentous occasion for the club.
To this day, Real remain the only club to have achieved the feat in the history of the competition.
Beating Raul to conquer Real
October 17, 2015
As the baton was passed from one legendary Madrid number seven to another, Ronaldo surpassed Raul as the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Scoring his 324th goal for the club against Levante, he succeeded the Spaniard in just his 310th appearance, achieving this monumental milestone in 431 fewer games.
He ended his remarkable Real career with 451 goals in 438 games, extending his lead at the top to an astonishing 127.
Five Ballon d’Ors
December 7, 2017 Following an impressive year in which he spearheaded Real to a tremendous treble of La Liga, Champions League and a Spanish Supercup, Ronaldo was deservedly awarded his fifth Ballon d’Or.
The trio of trophies combined with 42 goals in the 2016/17 season – including two in the UCL final against Juventus – enabled him to draw level with age-old rival Lionel Messi at five trophies apiece.
Prevailing in Paris, the emotional forward described the award as a ‘dream come true.’
Although he has since been overtaken by a sixth victory for his Argentinian counterpart, don’t bet against Ronaldo to level the scores yet again.
Impossible overhead kick
April 3, 2018 Showing his future side a sign of things to come, Ronaldo decimated Juventus with a surreal acrobatic effort as Real defeated the Italians in the Champions League quarterfinals. Doubling Madrid’s lead on the hour mark, he instinctively leapt to convert a perfect Dani Carvajal cross with an unstoppable overhead kick, leaving Gianluigi Buffon as a helpless bystander.
As the traveling Madrid contingent in the Allianz Stadium worshiped the wondergoal, they were joined in unison by a large pool of home fans, who could only applaud what they had witnessed.
Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo was awarded the UEFA Goal of the Tournament in a fan-voted poll that season.
The greatest goalscorer in history
January 10, 2021
A landmark goal from Cristiano further immortalized his legendary status as he overtook Czech Republic forward Josef Bican to set the record for the most goals ever scored.
His finish in a 2-0 win over Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana final was the 760th of his career as he equalled the 65-year-old record set by Bican in 1955.
100 Premier League goals
23 April, 2022
Almost 20 years after first joining Manchester United in the Premier League, Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 100th goal in the top flight of English football. It came against United’s rivals Arsenal, although the Red Devils ended up on the wrong side of a 3-1 defeat.
Out of the 100 he scored in the Premier League, 16 came in the 2021/22 season after his return to Old Trafford in the summer of 2021.
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